EASY WAYS TO BETTER YOUR NUTRITION THIS SUMMER
Summer is often the end goal for people who want to start a new season of health and wellness, like getting a "perfect body" ready for a beach trip. But attempts to change the way people live, like weight loss trends, hit their highest point in the spring and start to go down as summer starts. Weight gain starts up again in the fall and winter.
A better diet can still make summer a healthier time, though. Whether you want to lose a few pounds, clean out your system to feel lighter, or just cut out some things from your diet, there are ways to eat healthier during the summer.
Here are some useful tips that can help you stay on track with your nutrition this summer and beyond.
TIP #1: Keep up with routines.
Have you ever found that you worked really hard on your health and fitness from January to May, but as holiday time draws near, you lose motivation? You might not be going to as many exercise classes or training sessions, you might not be paying as close attention to the size of your portions, or you might be eating more treats than you have in the past few months. This is pretty normal, but it's important to keep up your diet and exercise routines through the summer if you want to build healthy habits that will last.
Make sure you stick to healthy habits by making a list of your current eating habits that help you reach your exercise goals. For example, if you usually cook dinner or pack your lunch, make sure to keep doing those things during the summer. If you need to, keep a spreadsheet or a diary to make sure you are consistent.
If you use an app to track what you eat (like Lose It, Myfitnesspal, etc.), keep track of your macros every day. It's also important to keep up with physical exercise, like taking enough steps every day and going to your fitness classes and/or training sessions.
TIP #2: PLAN FOR PARTIES AND VACATIONS
Most of my nutrition coaching clients say that holidays and summer parties make it hard to stick to their nutrition goals because they don't have as much control over what they eat. You can handle these problems in a few ways:
• If you're going on a trip, you might want to eat out only once a day and buy easy breakfasts and lunches (like sandwiches, salads, healthy snacks, etc.) from a nearby grocery store. Most hotel rooms have either a refrigerator or a microwave. When you book a private rental, like an Airbnb, you can usually use a full kitchen. This lets you stick to your meal plan even when you're out of town. It also saves you money, which is a nice bonus!
• When you go to a restaurant, try to look at the menu ahead of time so you can make better decisions about what to order. If you really want to order something less healthy, fill half your plate with vegetables and order a smaller amount of your main dish. You could even take the leftovers home for another meal.
• If there aren't many healthy choices at a party, I always suggest bringing "purse snacks" like a piece of fruit, a protein bar, or another healthy snack. This will help you eat less of the high-calorie foods that are often served at parties.
TIP #3: LIMIT HOW MUCH ALCOHOL YOU DRINK
Even though frozen drinks or a few extra cold beers at a party might sound like a good idea, doing this often can mess up your diet and cause you to gain weight you don't want. Researchers found that if you don't count the holidays, people drink the most alcohol in the summer, and women are more likely to binge drink during this time. It's good to keep track of how many drinks you have each week and set a limit so you don't drink too much.
TIP #4: PAY ATTENTION TO HYDRATION
When you work out in the summer heat, you may sweat more and lose more body fluids. Even though there isn't enough proof to show that forcing yourself to drink more water makes you lose more weight, heat can make you thirsty and make you want sugary drinks. It has been proven that swapping calorie-filled drinks with water does help people keep a healthy weight or lose weight. Making sure you drink enough water will keep you from wanting to eat these extra calories and help you exercise better when it's hot and humid outside.
Pay attention to signs of hunger and drink water at regular times throughout the day. You could make your water taste better by adding sugar-free spices or fresh fruit. If you work out outside, you should drink 400 to 600 ml of fluid two hours before the workout and 150 to 200 ml every 20 minutes during the workout to make up for the fluids you lose.
Even though summer tends to be a more laid-back time of year, it is still important to keep your exercise and nutrition goals in mind, just as you would in any other season. If you use these tips, you'll be able to keep up the healthy habits you formed in the first part of the year.